Disney's biggest flop of all time is none other than the much-hyped John Carter. An adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' hero from the 11-volume Barsoom novels. Burroughs is also credited for having created the character Tarzan that sprung multiple media adaptions, and led him to international fame. Fortunately, he didn't have to live through this.
I haven't seen Battleship yet but I plan to. Carter was superhit-material. The hero was good looking enough to draw crowds and having the Disney emblem on the poster, along with being an adaptation of Burroughs' famed character, but without further ado, it flopped. I wonder if Walt Disney Pictures would've just made a sequel to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. It was adrenaline-rushed and even eligible for a 2-time cinematic watch. Sure, fans weren't happy that the movie was an unfaithful adaption of the video game series. But I owe it to the director and writers for charming the audience with such fun and fast-paced action scenes and a durable story. In contrast, Carter had predictable and super-dull action, along with a plot that thins after the first 40 minutes of its torturous 132 mins duration.
Sure, it had its good effects. The start-up to the film was above average, especially the scenes displayed on earth were mysterious and urged the viewer to hold his/her breath for the upcoming scenario. But it's not long before Carter lands on the planet Mars and the movie becomes as dried up as its landscape.
The first few post-landing-on-Mars scenes were energetic and well-written. But after that the entire feature is in ruins. The plot becomes too twisted that younger audiences would flee away. There is not much to keep people in their seats as they are confused and ultra-bored. Even the work on Mars and the Aliens seemed low-valued compared to other Disney releases (Pirates of Caribbean foursome, Prince of Persia). I mean if you were to keep the main character null and void, at least provide some spark to the other, in this case, beings from outer space. Mark Strong may have found his first dull role in a movie. And the heroin Lynn Collins was OK, considering she was a warrior princess who had 0% chemistry with the lead.
Today's over $800m grossing films are made up of many CGI effects. But they are coupled with witty dialogues, awesome fighting sequences and an above average cast. Take the example of Marvel's The Avengers that has grossed over $1b worldwide. J. Carter is not only far from hit, but also far from superhit. Although, the fighting scene with the giant white beast (as shown in the trailer) was the only entertaining adrenaline scene in the whole flick. It co-stars Ciaran Hinds, Willem Dafoe (voice only) and Daryl Sabara (Spy Kids 1-3).
Disney's John Carter is directed by Andrew Stanton - who has directed the hit animated feature Finding Nemo. This is first live-action film and that is clearly seen. The screenplay is written by Stanton along with Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon (both who have co-written their first live-action film). Best of luck for them in their next ventures.
Carter has made just above $280m worldwide off a megabudget of $250m. It set new BO records in Russia, flopped badly in North America, and it's surprising that it still managed to gain these financial defects with a global opening of $100.8m. All plans for a trilogy have been put on hold.
Rotten Tomatoes: 52%